LibLink: Nick Clegg – Your choice: the old politics, or the new

by Stephen Tall on March 7, 2010

Over at the Independent today, Nick Clegg argues that the electorate is weary of two-party wrangling and tactical voting. The voters, he says, are ready for a third option, one which breaks new ground. I guess that would be us, then. Here’s an excerpt:

This election could be an election of renewal, when the old politics finally passes its sell-by date and a new era of pluralism and accountability is ushered in. The one advantage of a crisis – economic, political, social – is that it can open the door to a new way of doing things. It can make the unthinkable thinkable, the idealistic realistic. It can be the beginning of something new. …

The Conservative Party strategy is now clear: personal animus towards its opponents; shameless scaremongering in the financial markets; double standards in its own policies. David Cameron’s spring conference speech carried one message only: vote for me, because I really really hate the other guy. …

Meanwhile, the Labour Party can’t believe its luck: with one bound Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson are free from defending the indefensible – 13 years of broken promises, a record of betrayal of what progressive politics is supposed to be about. Unregulated greed in the banks. Inequality up, social mobility down. The mass incarceration of young people. The decimation of our civil liberties. A political system in crisis. No wonder they prefer the trench warfare of point-scoring instead. …

But it really doesn’t need to be like this. Just because the old parties choose to cling to the politics of spite doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t hope and strive for something better. Liberal Democrats remain determined to transform British politics, once and for all. We want to create a plural, vibrant politics where everybody’s voice is heard and every vote counts, where politics is a battle of ideas, not a contest of advertising budgets. The old parties are locked in a battle for knock-out supremacy, when people in modern Britain are crying out for something new.

You can read Nick’s article in full here.